It’s quite hard to explain what Imtiaz Ali is going for in Love Aaj Kal, a remake of Love Aaj Kal, also directed by Ali. Is this a movie about how Uber drivers are often confused about the exact location of the pick-up point? Is it about how running a cafe is the most profitable business in India, considering multiple characters in the film end up doing so? Or is it about how hard it is for women to ‘balance’ career with love, because come on, love in itself is a full-time job, why do women need silly distractions like a career?
Like the original, the counterfeit also intercuts between two timelines. Zoe and Veer meet at bar and head to his place for a quick fling. He refuses to sleep with her because, duh, she’s too ‘special’ to be made love to. Later, he stalks her, shows up at the place she works at and like a good Indian lover, remains persistent. “I’ll leave the moment you feel I’m intruding” he says, which is Ali’s preemptive way of countering charges of his character’s creepiness.
At the same time, Zoe, who’s ‘career-driven’ and doesn’t believe in long-term relationships is ‘guided’ by boomer Randeep Hooda, who has a hipster-cowboy-Rumi-fuckboy vibe. He’s the sutradhaar of the film, a conduit between the present and past. He schools Zoe on how she better be serious about love and like a true dudebro, wingmans the hell out of Veer. Hooda is permanently high on his past - on a woman (Arushi Sharma) named Leena who he abandoned his life in Udaipur for - and now lives a melancholic existence, running a bunch of restaurants and co-working spaces, longingly romanticising his days of yore. “Ek nasha hota hai yaar,” he says, referring to, my guess is, youthful rebellion.
To cut a long story short (which technically was editor Aarti Bajaj’s job), Zoe is taken by Hooda’s idealism and turns to love, ditching a fancy career opportunity in Dubai, only to realise that Hooda had messed up big time. Lol. Objectively, there...